What is Multiage?


We Learn...

10% of what we read.

20% of what we hear

30% of what we see.

50% of what we hear and see.

70% of what we discuss.

80% of what we experience.

95% of what we teach.

                ~ William Glasser

  What is a Multi age classroom?

Multi age classrooms are classrooms where two or more grades are purposefully grouped together to create a diverse community of learners. These classrooms become safe and stable learning communities over the two to three years.
 Why Multi-Age?

 Grouping children in multi age settings creates and enhanced and natural social setting with a variety of ages raising children's social and emotional skills.

A child- centered approach is used where the needs of the individual learners are fostered and valued.
Learning takes place through integrated themes allowing students to make connections, play and create more. Themes are based on the Manitoba Provincial Curriculum.

 For returning students there are smoother transitions because they already know many of their peers and the basic routines of the classroom. Students can focus on developing and building upon their learning from the previous years.

 A family atmosphere is fostered because the students are together for longer periods of time.

 Students can work at their own pace to reach their full potential.

 Teachers and students begin the year already having strong connections with each other.

 Students are given opportunities to challenge themselves and build upon the learning from last year.

 Returning students and older students act as leaders.  They welcome new students and reinforce their learning and understanding of concepts and routines by assisting new students.

Research confirms that there are great benefits of being guided and helped by a peer as well as, there being great academic benefits of tutoring other students.

Leadership is such an important part of a multiage community and an important and vital skill for students to have.

 New students entering a multi age classroom have strong supports throughout the class from not only the teacher in the classroom but, also from their peers who have been in the class for a year or two already.

 Independence is fostered as students build on their learning and tutor.

 Students are given opportunities to challenge themselves and build upon the learning from last year.

How it works...

 Many people ask how does a multi age classroom work three grades in one classroom? It does take a lot of thinking and planning but, it is well worth watching the benefits. In our room we may all be writing around 1 theme that can cross the grade levels naturally. However, different expectations or criteria are set and understood by the students. Students within this would not only be expected to work at their grade level but at a level that they are comfortable with and can be successful with therefore working on a continuum.

 If we were studying owls and doing non-fiction writing students in grade 1 might be collecting an interesting fact with the help of a grade 2 or 3 leader and recording this fact. He/ She may then draw a diagram with some labels of their fact.

A grade 2 student might be working more independently on finding facts and recording several facts in their own words. Then this student would be creating a more detailed drawing of an owl with more labels.

A grade 3 student would reading a more complicated text, recording interesting facts and writing a paragraph or maybe even 2 paragraphs about their findings in their own words. Then he/ she would work on a detailed scientific drawing with labels.

 Students in grade 1 or 2 could easily challenge themselves and work up. Grade 3 students might challenge themselves by furthering their research, adding more details, description and vocabulary to their work. During this time all students would be collaborating, sharing ideas and strengthening their understanding of research and  non- fiction writing.

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